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Comments

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Employees Staying Away From Internal Corporate Social Networks

ausrob A closed system (131 comments)

At my last job there was a big push to promote the new internal social network solution to all employees. There were even competitions with prizes involved to induce people into completing their profile and subscribing to groups and posting regular updates.

It didn't work very well (from a technical standpoint) which was probably one reason it wasn't widely adopted, but in my particular case I had no interest in it because it was a closed system. Once out of that company (as I find myself now), I have lost access to any links or articles I might have written, as opposed to if I had posted the same content on a public social network.

While I didn't get the internal attention by maintaining my own technical blog elsewhere (although sometimes I would post links to my blog on the internal site), I've arguably had a wider audience by posting to the public Internet and I retain access to the knowledge I shared there. Why would I bother with a closed internal system?

about three weeks ago
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Water Cannons Used Against Peaceful Anti-TTIP Protestors: the Next ACTA Revolt?

ausrob Re:Silly Peasants (142 comments)

OK, how about the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)? Or the current Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? There are more examples, but hopefully you get the point. Even proposed US laws like PIPA/SOPA and current laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) can make their way into other countries by way of other seemingly unrelated economic trade agreements. For example, Australia has adopted DMCA like provisions as part of the Australia–United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA - incidentally modeled on NAFTA) between 2004-2006.

about 2 months ago
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New York Public Library Releases Over 20,000 Hi-Res Maps

ausrob Re:These copyrights (25 comments)

Not outright, but in many cases it might as well be. When you can't reproduce a map in a text book or online without paying (in some cases a hefty royalty payment), then the knowledge contained in the map (or anything else) isn't spread to others since the copyrighted work isn't distributed freely. By way of an example? People trying to make text books for art classes - to individually license reproductions of some of the finest works of art in history - is economically unviable. The textbooks would have to be sold for thousands of dollars.

about 4 months ago
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Why Is Broadband More Expensive In the US Than Elsewhere?

ausrob Re:No It's not. (569 comments)

Well said! I was going to comment with something similar. If I had mod points, I'd have modded up. It's also worth noting that in the OP's linked article, the comparison is between countries who have high speed broadband, however there are plenty of "first world" countries (like Australia) that don't even have what could be defined as a high speed network; who pay more for their substandard speeds across the board. Bear in mind that the US also has fairly decent wireless Internet options too. In some countries 3G and 4G services are challenging to locate, or don't exist at all.

about 9 months ago
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IE 11 Breaks Rendering For Google Products, and Outlook Too

ausrob Re:Known workaround (231 comments)

Practically the first thing I do when I've just installed a clean copy of Windows.

about 9 months ago
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Microsoft Reputation Manager's Guide To Xbox One

ausrob Re:Spin it all you like guys ... (611 comments)

"as long as the servers are always working" - well there's a good point.

You know one striking difference between the Xbox One and practically any prior gaming console? I can still play the other consoles entirely offline, without the manufacturer's support - provided it's still in working condition of course - pretty much regardless of how old it is. I'll also be able to play any supported game (again, assuming it's in working condition) - regardless of where it came from.

about a year ago
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First Looks At Windows 8.1, Complete With 'Start' Button

ausrob Re:If you don't like metro... (800 comments)

Really? You find it incredible that self-confessed geeks would have a problem with being forced by a Microsoft design decision into losing what some people seem to consider to be fairly core usability functionality, which has existed harmoniously for over 15 years?

It's beside the point that OSS solutions exist - it's the principal of the matter. What's so hard to understand that people might not like having changes like this forced upon them? Some people may prefer not having to using third party code to restore this functionality, while others may not be able to apply OSS options because they lack the ability to update their standard operating environment (e.g. corporations, government workstations etc).

One of the major points of difference between Microsoft operating systems and others is that in most cases power users have the ability to heavily customize the Windows operating system (and other Microsoft products) without necessarily having to resort to third party code. What's so difficult to understand about that?

about a year ago
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Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?

ausrob Re:RTFA (505 comments)

OK, to be fair, that's more than they offered after the launch of Windows Phone 7..true.. but given the successive "non-upgrade paths" (Windows Mobile 6.5 / Windows Phone 7) haunting releases, I think it's fair to be skeptical of any promises.

On that article, I had to chuckle at this quote: ""We're not going to do this thing where we announce the next version [of Windows Phone] months and months before it's available,"" which would be the opposite of what they did with Windows Phone 8, flogging it months before the first handset was available. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

about a year ago
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Microsoft To Abandon Windows Phone?

ausrob Re:RTFA (505 comments)

Tell that to Windows Phone 7 users.. Who were not able to upgrade to Windows Phone 8. What makes you think Windows Phone 8 devices will support Windows Phone 9?

about a year ago
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Oregon Lawmakers Propose Mileage Tax On Fuel Efficient Vehicles

ausrob Overcomplicated (686 comments)

Why not simply increase the cost of car registrations and decrease the tax on fuel? If everyone pays for car registration (I'm assuming it's illegal to drive an unregistered car), the tax is evenly applied and by decreasing the tax on fuel it doesn't penalise less fuel efficient car owners in the process.

Better yet, to create an incentive for people to switch to more economical options, why not stagger the tax reduction on fuel so it returns to present day level over a period of time, therefore making a less fuel effiicient car slightly less economical to run or own over a gradual period.

If that doesn't sound workable, why not simply hike the registration cost for fuel efficient cars, so the owner pays a bit more up front?

about a year and a half ago
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Illegal Downloading Now a Crime In Japan With Increased Penalties

ausrob Re:Flood of schills is an good omen (286 comments)

Well said! I was thinking more or less the same thing when I scrolled through the list of comments. Let's face it, when downloading a song or a video (i.e. copyright infringement - non commercial use) gets a person potentially more time in jail than for a violent crime (e.g. assault) or can potentially bankrupt a person, then society has its priorities all messed up.

It would be nice for everyone to step back and measure these things rationally, instead of getting caught up in the MAFIAA's rhetoric. But hey, it's Japan.. maybe we should be happy that the penalty is not hara-kiri, right?

about 2 years ago
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What Windows Phone 8 Needs To Do To Succeed

ausrob To succeed? (246 comments)

...for starters, not alienating the developer community by refusing to release even a beta copy of the Windows Phone 8 SDK would be a good start. It's been released to a VERY select few thus far.

It's left a lot of developers in the dark, not knowing what the platform's going to look like and what kind of changes they might choose to make to their existing 7.x apps.

Talk is current generation apps will run on Win Phone 8, but obviously won't make full use of the Win Phone 8's capabilities (and who can rely on this until they've had a chance to run their 'now legacy' app in an emulator?).

What it boils down to is that very few apps which make use of the full featureset will be ready come the date that the actual handsets ship, that's got to be a negative net effect.

about 2 years ago
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Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?

ausrob Re:Notes from part time developer (345 comments)

You misquoted me - I specifically mentioned WinRT. To make use of the new functionality offered by Windows Phone 8, developers will have to make major changes as many of the existing APIs (Silverlight, for example) will not be supported.

about 2 years ago
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Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?

ausrob Re:Notes from part time developer (345 comments)

Perhaps... but I can't help feeling that Windows Phone (as a platform) is still very much a second-class citizen. For one thing, the Windows Phone 8 SDK is still not available (excluding the leaked copy) and we're only months away from Windows 8 (RTM) and a little later, (October??) the Windows Phone 8 handsets and Tablets come out. We haven't even seen a beta or RC of the SDK..

Worse still, given the amount of rework which devs will need to undertake to port their existing Windows Phone 7 apps to Windows Phone 8 (for the use of the WinRT API, for example). This is a baffling move, and given the history of the Windows Mobile line.... it's getting to be a bit rich.

Also, I disagree that the market place is mature. There's not nearly a large enough user base to make that statement, and hearing that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't support an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 may hurt.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Stepping Down From an Office Server To NAS-Only?

ausrob Re:Drobo (227 comments)

I really like the Drobo range, great functionality and disk configuration options.. but found the pricing to be a bit too prohibitive. An alternative might be a Thecus (http://www.thecus.com/) which seem to be a fair bit cheaper but lack the innovative features of a Drobo. However I think they deliver a fairly solid platform of functionality for the price.

about 2 years ago
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Japan: Police Arrest Journalists For Selling DVD-Backup Tools

ausrob Interesting (252 comments)

It's a wonder that the publishing company (Sansai Books) weren't issued some kind of ceast and desist letter first, considering the company did not break the law when the magazine was published *last year* (presumably well before the law was ammended). It sounds like they were probably selling back issues and may not have fully appreciated the situation.

about 2 years ago
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New Analyst Report Calls Agile a Scam, Says It's An Easy Out For Lazy Devs

ausrob Trolling? (491 comments)

The thing smells of trolling. I'm happy for people to 'call BS' on some of the garbage people say (by way of promoting) Agile practices, but honestly, who thinks 200 people is a wide enough sample range to denounce an entire methodlogy/ideology? Reads like a cheap shot.

about 2 years ago
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Rethinking How Congress Pushes Copyright Laws

ausrob Re:I for one (228 comments)

The so called 'copyright clause' of the US constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8) doesn't say that at all - it states "To promote the progress of science and useful arts". It mentions nothing making things profitable. It also mentions granting copyright for a *limited* time, which - given the continuing extensions to copyright term - is not being exercised in accordance with the US constitution.

By the way, the public domain exists for a reason too, and was intended 'to embiggen a vibrant and creative economy'. Take a look at what has happened to it in the past few decades.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Verisign seizes .com domain registered via foreign registrar

ausrob ausrob writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ausrob (864993) writes "A sign of things to come? Domain seizures are nothing new, but this particular case is interesting. From the article: "The indictment focuses on the movement of funds outside the U.S." and that you can't just "flout US law" by not being in the US. What also needs to be understood is that the domain bodog.com was registered to via a non-US Registrar, namely Vancouver's domainclip.'"
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